Paper or Digital? Keep Me Posted North America Launches to Protect the Consumer’s Right to Choose

Paper or Digital? Keep Me Posted North America Launches to Protect the Consumer’s Right to Choose

Keep Me Posted (KMP) announced the launch of its campaign in North America. KMP is a global advocacy campaign working for the right of every consumer to choose, free of charge, how they receive important information from their service providers – on paper or electronically.

Overseen by Two Sides North America, the KMP North America campaign will focus on educating and challenging corporations that are removing consumer choice and charging fees for paper. The campaign will coordinate with KMP global campaigns already launched in several European countries and Australia.

KMP has also partnered with the Coalition for Paper Options, Consumer Action, Haven Neighborhood Services, Montana Organizing Project, National Consumers League, and The National Grange to form a coalition to protect the consumer’s right to choose between paper and digital communications.

Millions of North American consumers are currently disenfranchised by increased digitization and need to receive bills and statements on paper due to reasons such as: lack of internet access, digital abilities, and growing security concerns with online fraud.  Others prefer paper for convenience and practical reasons.

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Results of a 2017 Toluna consumer survey conducted in the US indicated that 90% agree that they should have the right to choose how they receive communications (printed or electronic) from financial organizations and service providers. 83% agree they should not be charged more for choosing a paper bill or statement.

According to a study by the Pew Research Center in 2018, 50% of American senior citizens, 76% of those who have not completed high school and 55% of those living in households with an annual income under $30,000 did not have broadband internet at home. These numbers have increased since 2013 because of the cost of internet access.

In Canada, approximately 18% of households do not have access to fixed broadband Internet access services at the CRTC target speeds and 64.4% of families in the lowest income quintile (the 20% lowest earners) used the internet at home compared to a national average of 86.9% (CRTC, 2016 and 2017).

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“Keep Me Posted will be building a coalition of supporters (consumer groups, physical and mental health charities, trade unions and industry) to promote the adoption of the Keep Me Posted pledge from service providers,” states Phil Riebel, Director, Keep Me Posted North America. “By presenting the facts about consumer needs and preferences related to paper-based communications, our coalition will work with service providers to ensure consumers are not forced to go digital.”

“The majority of adult Americans prefer to receive at least some of their bills and statements in paper format and believe that paper format should continue to be provided to those who want it, at no extra cost,” states Linda Sherry, Director of National Priorities for Consumer Action. “The Keep Me Posted campaign is a much-needed effort to educate consumers and generate support for giving consumers the right to choose the way they want to communicate with service providers.”

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